Defining "The Political"

So I can completely understand Martin’s rationale for removing two recent stories that caused a firestorm in the comments section for their political content. As he says, he wants this to be a friendly community, not a place where readers and authors come to pick fights with each other.

However, I’m also strongly philosophically opposed to this policy decision, simply because the task of determining which stories are overtly “political” seems impossible. Really, most of the stories here are “political” in one way or another; some just contain more overt references than others. And really, is there that much difference between the story that just got removed and, say, Rozza’s well-liked “Jock Fun” series, which ALSO features an evil conspiracy involving caps that turn the wearer into a jingoistic MAGA conservative?

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I fully understand where you are coming from Martin. I wonder if it had been the other way round and a democrat and turned a republican into the thing the person was before he got changed. I feel some people who come here have an “agender”. I know another story had many comments about a black person who became a slave to a white man, again I wonder if there would have been too much fuss if it had been the other way round…This site is mainly about Fantasy, and that is how guys should see it. just my two pennys worth

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I just feel like the way to deal with this issue is to delete insulting COMMENTS on the stories, not the stories themselves. It takes a lot of work to write a story, and a lot of courage to post it publicly on the site. But any a-hole can write a belligerent comment, so if you delete some of those in order to keep the peace in the GSS community, it’s no big loss.

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And dare I say a great deal of the comments are anon…as Hypnothrill says it takes effort to write stories and if they are on the iffy side a great deal of balls to post it

I agree that practically all stories are political in some way.

And I am well aware that we had stories in the past with the obvious intention to carry a political statement.

The thing is this: This story by Pikemence really crossed a line for me. I understand that it was meant as satire, but I have heard these arguments too often, and it’s just such a cheap hit at all liberal people to defame them all as SJW who want to ban certain words and enforce a certain language.

This simply makes me mad. I don’t want this on my site, period. I see this as pure slander.

Otoh, I don’t want to force my political views onto this community. So I simply can’t delete this one story while leaving the other one intact, which it was meant to counter.

I feel like I don’t have a choice, if I want to avoid getting into this kind of discussion over and over again, but to ban this altogether. Otherwise this site will just become a battlefield like Facebook and Twitter.

For what I see as “overly political”… In the end I will decide on that. I hope I wont have to ban ANY more stories, since I wager that authors just wont bother to submit stories with a political agenda if they know that I’m not giving them a public stage for them.

If the sole purpose of a story seems to be to simply promote a certain political view, I will contact the author and ask him to change that or to simply look elsewhere to publish it. He then has the chance to explain to me why he thinks that his story is NOT meant political or where I just misinterpreted it.

BTW, I don’t think it was a coincidence that “Pikemence” also submitted his story anonymously (without an account) which is really rare these days.

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It’s your site, and I think you do a great job of moderating it. But I wish you’d reconsider the way you’ve framed this as a ban on “political” stories. I think that what you’re really objecting to is content that you consider hateful, intended to defame a certain group. So you could consider framing this as a “hate speech” ban, rather than as a “political content” ban.

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Well, yeah, that sounds reasonable. I haven’t finalized this new rule anyway, the way I’m going to word it (on the story submission page) is still open.

So thank you for that suggestion.

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I agree its your site - with that story I did not see it as political In any way it was one guy fucking another but at the same time changing the way he voted

Just to put in my two cents, since Martin did ask for feedback (bless that hard-working admin), I personally like the rule. I can’t speak for people who sit further on the right side of the fence these days, but I appreciate a safe space to simply enjoy the intricacies of my own sexuality amidst like-minded individuals.

Now, that being said, my own interests can get a little risque. I like erotic stories of a regime brainwashing the masses or mind-controlled individuals exhibiting out of character, and perhaps bigoted, traits as a result of recent hypnotic conditioning just as much as the next guy. There are parallels to these themes and the political reality we exist in today. I can understand people being concerned about the possibility of censorship in this area, and subsequently feeling like they’re being jilted out of future stories that are to their intrests. That’s why I think that these sorts of things should be handled on a case by case basis, as suggested by the loose wording of the rule.

Since Martin runs the site, he has the right. His moral compass has led him to delete only one out of plenty of stories so far, and even then, he asked for everyones’ opinion on the newly implemented rule instead of sweeping that single story under the rug. The rule seems useful in the right hands, and Martin seems to be those hands.

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It might also be worthwhile to consider locking / archiving the stories you consider “overly political.” This way you’re not censoring ideas (or choosing ideas to censor) but you are keeping a political debate from occurring in the comments.

If your end goal is censorship (i.e. not having stories which includes themes you don’t like), then be transparent about the specific elements you don’t like. I don’t know what was going on in the comments/story to elicit the removal, but if you include examples of “overly political” content, it may at least keep you from seeming arbitrary.

Can I ask which stories were deleted?

Given the content of this site, defining what is political and what is simply a fetish can be challenging. Plenty of people are into bigotry. I remember a certain story about a police chief that is kind of disgusting from a political perspective that I somewhat guiltily fap to when I want to feel awful about myself. :sweat_smile:

However, true political content is probably a little like art; difficult to describe the difference but you can tell when you can see it. As for taking a political side, I’m torn. I feel more people should take sides and make a stand for their beliefs.

I personally believe in one side and by attempting to remain neutral it’s giving the other side power. I also understand that a large site like this with a diverse crowd that for the most part aren’t here for politics. Anyways, I trust Martin to do what is best.

All stories are political, and they all encode some values.

I’m okay with just banning pro-Republican stories. It’s not like they’ll ever thank you for keeping your gay smut site “fair and balanced.”

If people have terrible views, they should be ready to accept being unwelcome in welcoming places.

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I as well, respectfully, think that this ban should be reconsidered. Please let me explain why:

While I respect your goals and your desire to feel safe in this space you’ve created (in which I frequent, and am grateful for your work), I think that erotica is something that is allowed to feel unsafe and it is the responsibility of the those seeking it to chose what to engage in.

I hate Scad. That means when a Scad story comes up its up to me not to read it. If I tried to fight the writer in the comments section, that’s unfair to that writer, I was warned. Many people don’t like incest, it’s up to those people not to read a story labeled as such. A community is a powerful thing, but in a site defined by magic and non-consensual sex should be prepared to have members of that community post things that are offensive, and its up to us readers to engage with the content we like. Not change those authors we don’t agree with.

Personally, I enjoyed the story in question because it made me feel unsafe, it flew in the face of my political leanings. Had I felt uncomfortable enough to hate the story, I could have left that story at anytime as could everyone who viewed it. Erotic writing, even bad erotic writing offers me a moment to experience something forbidden, I then leave it and feel I can engage in the world better. We all know that consent, communication and respect are foundational to personal happiness and real relationships, and I admire anyone willing to create content that helps me explore dangerous urges in a safe space.

Unless that author broke a rule you have previously set up (under 18, etc.), I don’t see a reason to take it down. If you have an issue with political stories, we can’t stop you, but as this site is a great aggregate, it would be unfortunate to have to seek out those stories elsewhere, especially when most other stories on this site are non-consent by nature (and as someone who hate homophobia and the Alt-Right, real non-consent in the real world is worse than those things, just safe to read here about fictional characters). Let authors post what they want, and trust those who use your site to engage with the material they want. The best thing those offended could have done was not give that author any hits right? If you hated that this was in your community, then engage with something else in this large community.

Also to be clear, I am always going to use this site anonymously. I appreciate having this content, but can’t engage with it beyond that. Something about the ban just made me feel I needed to voice my thoughts and appreciate if you were willing to read it. Thank you, and thanks again for the site.

Yes, you can, and I intend to link those stories here into this thread. Unfortunately, I have to upload an update of the site software so deleted stories can still be accessed with the proper deep link.

That’ll happen in the next two days or so.

Yes, I realize that, and I think I clearly wrote already that I’m well aware that about every story has some kind of political subtext.

But I think it’s not that hard to see if the intent of a story is to arouse and entertain the reader or to make a political statement.

Again, I absolutely agree. When politics are a topic, I will never remain neutral. But here it’s all about sex, nothing else. Shunning people just because they have different (political) believes is against my own convictions.

Thank you for your long and well written comment.

I thought about what you wrote and why it’s different for me, if I read a story about a sexual fantasy I don’t share and that even disgusts me or a story which promotes political views I don’t agree with.

And I think it’s easy. I can tolerate ANY kind of sexual kink. Not necessarily in reality, but as a fantasy, I don’t see any limits. People don’t chose what turns them on, so I can’t judge them on this, and I wont.

However, political views are different. You chose your convictions (well more or less of course). These stories were written to carry a message. To convince the reader that what x does is ridiculous and what y does is the right thing. That’s never the subtext of a sexual fantasy story (at least the ones I’d accept here, a story about creating a white master race that sexually enslaves all colored people would just be as offensive and would be banned right away - sexual or not).

Everything else you wrote, that reading about the forbidden and proscribed, has a certain appeal, I agree with absolutely.

But nobody who’s writing a story about a murderer wants to convince people to go out and kill people.

Also, I identify myself a bit with everything that’s on this site. I have to be able to live with the idea that I helped to publish everything on it.

If there is a story full of slander and defamation of a certain group of people, I will simply not stand for that.

That’s absolutely fine for me, but let me add that I think it’s a bit overcautious. The only thing you need to create an account would be an email address, and there are countless ways of getting an anonymous email address that cannot be tracked back to you. And you forfeit a lot of functionality if you don’t use an account.

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When I wrote my original reply I was in a hurry and I don’t feel like I had time to pose my argument effectively.

I feel that there is a fundamental difference between hate speech and politics and to equate them is to legitimize the ideology of hate. Phrases like SJW and other alt-right dog whistles and the ideologies that accompany them are hate speech.

Further up in the thread, Jamie references a series of videos called the Alt-Right Playbook. It goes into the strategies that the alt-right uses to legitimize their arguments and force them into the public consciousness and how to combat them. It’s really interesting and I suggest you watch it but it comes down to a few rules of engagement.

Never argue with a person who is parroting alt-right ideas, it’s what they want.
Never give them a soapbox even under the guise of debate.
Never treat them as a legitimate political ideology.

This is why I feel that banning them together under the umbrella of politics is flawed. I’m fine with a blanket ban on politics. I don’t want this site turning into the latest season of Doctor Who. But, it might be better served with a ban on hate speech instead.

Having been reading here for six years now, this is the first time this has happened as far as I’ve seen. But, we have a non-fiction category for metacontent and I’m fine with non-hate speech political content. Unfortunately, with the two political sides becoming more polarized, it’s really hard to tell the difference these days. So, I completely understand the ban.

Edit:
I’m interested to know what kind of content was in the other piece.

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Having just (ab)used my admin power to read the stories in question, I am a bit conflicted.

Either on their own, although having a political theme and being quite contentious and confrontational, I’d say are tolerable.
However, given one author explicitly states it is a deliberate tribute to the preceding story and an attempt to get a ban being introduced, it feels more like some kind of personal vendetta being played out in public, with the intention of causing confrontation and upset to suit their own views/agenda.

I’m not sure an outright ban is needed, however comment moderation is definitely needed.

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Maybe it’s possible to turn off the commenting feature for particular stories.

I like this policy and Hypnothrill, i know you had that “Colorism” story that got a lot of backlash or at least discussion about it but I would say that wasn’t a “poltical” story. You could tell that it was a story you just wrote to be sexy but just ended up being a political story. While I was one of the people who suggested you should have maybe done some rewrites on it to have undone some of what came off as racist, i also would say your story doesn’t fall under this policy and would be annoyed if it got taken down.
I agree with this policy since despite this being a porn site i know there are people outthere who will write obviously political and targeting material and will use “this is a porn site and this is my fetish” as a way to act like they didn’t know what they were doing. I say this understanding that this means it might also ban stories which politically i agree with.
After reading this thread i trust that martin understands that if it’s a story that was written with the intent of being sexy and hot, it can stay even if it has political themes, but if it’s a political story that just happens to involve sex, that isn’t the point of this site so it makes sense to remove it.

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Just a guest here, but I’d recommend not going the “anti-hate speech tos” sort of route. Things actually get murkier a lot more quickly than you’d expect. Take the “transgender military ban” for example. It sounds just hateful, but when you take a look at the numbers involving suicide, it gets a little sobering. The risk numbers are just that bad for both transgender and veterans. When it comes to a lot of things, what may come across so strongly as hate by one person, might actually be a missed perspective that really ought be addressed to actually make things better.